2015-08-11 08:39

Facts, statistics, information, history and trivia about Cykelvasan 2015, the largest Nordic mountain bike race

The first Vasaloppet was in 1922, and Cykelvasan ran for the first time in 2009. In the past six years, Cykelvasan has grown enormously and is now approaching 20,000 registered participants. Here we have collected facts, statistics, information, history and trivia to prepare you for the seventh Cykelvasan, which is now the largest Nordic mountain bike race.

Friday August 14 will see Ungdomscykelvasan, Cykelvasan 30 and Cykelvasan 45 – all these shorter races start in Oxberg. The first ever Cykelvasan Öppet Spår will be held on the same day, starting at 12:00 in Sälen. On Saturday August 15, the elite start of Cykelvasan 90 will be as early as 08:00 in Sälen.

The story of Cykelvasan

Vasaloppet had run on snow 85 times when Cykelvasan first saw the light of day on August 16, 2009. Cykelvasan was modelled after Birkebeinerrittet in Norway. In the summer of 2008, a number of cyclists did a test run in the Vasaloppet Arena from Sälen to Mora, and the next year saw the premiere of Cykelvasan – it was a success and immediately became Sweden’s largest mountain bike race. Of course Sweden’s elite cyclists were there and so were almost 2,000 recreational athletes. The classic stretch offered the same experience as in winter; starting in Sälen, passing all the familiar checkpoints, and finishing in Mora. Apart from the complete Sälen–Mora stretch there were also two shorter races of 30 and 45 km.

The success continued the next year, 2010, when over 4,000 cyclists signed up. In 2011, Cykelvasan attracted almost 8,000 registered participants, and that was also the year that the Sälen start was moved from Tjärnheden to the Vasaloppet start in Berga by. Ungdomscykelvasan was first held in 2012. In it, young people aged 11–16 compete on the stretch between Oxberg and Mora.

To meet the great interest, Cykelvasan Öppet Spår was introduced in 2015; a race that, just like Vasaloppet Öppet Spår in winter, gives you the opportunity to complete the whole Sälen–Mora stretch, but with less crowding and without the stress of competition.

Over the years, millions of crowns have been invested in the Vasaloppet Arena in order to reduce the asphalt sections. Instead, gravel roads and paths have been created to make the ground as good as possible for biking. Now almost all of Cykelvasan runs through the terrain. The shorter races are completely off roads with traffic, and Cykelvasan 90 and Cykelvasan Öppet Spår now have only 4 kilometres left on roads with traffic.

Since 2010, Barnens Cykelvasa has been held for the very youngest; children up to about 10 years of age. In it, everyone cycles a short stretch, wears a number bib, and receives a diploma and medal. The race is modelled after Barnens Vasalopp, the winter counterpart that attracts tens of thousands of future ski enthusiasts from all over Sweden.

Registration numbers, Monday August 8, 2015

Cykelvasan 90 2015 is fully booked; in other words, 12,000 have registered to race from Sälen to Mora. Put together, the five Cykelvasan 2015 races now have 19,405 registered participants. A new record! There are still start places available for the Friday races. Direct registration can be made for these races online up until Wednesday or here on location during Thursday and Friday.

Registered for Ungdomscykelvasan: 175
Registered for Cykelvasan 30: 2,205
Registered for Cykelvasan 45: 2,410
Registered for Cykelvasan Öppet Spår: 2,615
Registered for Cykelvasan 90: 12,000 (competition and leisure class)

12.7 percent of the participants registered for Cykelvasan 90 on Saturday are ladies. (In total, 20.1 percent of those registered for Cykelvasan are ladies.)

Counties and nations

3,340 Stockholmers participate in Cykelvasan! The five Swedish counties with most participants in Cykelvasan 2015 are: Stockholm (3,340), Västra Götaland (3,007), Dalarna (1,943), Uppsala (1,162) and Gävleborg (962).

The five Cykelvasan 2015 races have participants from 32 different nations, counting Sweden. The five countries with most participants (excluding Sweden) are Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands. Almost 700 Norwegian participants have registered. Participants are between ages 8 and 84, with an average age of 41.9.

Changes to the route

Vasaloppet has (as mentioned above) worked continuously to improve the Cykelvasan track. This summer, there will be a significant change around Oxberg. Now the participants, just like in Vasaloppet during the winter, will use the tunnel in Vasslan and follow the winter track via Björnarvet and Lundbäcksbackarna to the checkpoint in Oxberg. In total, approximately 9 km out of Cykelvasan’s 94 km have been re-routed this year. This will also lead to the asphalt section of the track being reduced by about four kilometres. Cykelvasan 45 on the Friday will, thanks to this, be completely car-free for the first time. Of course, Cykelvasan 30 and Ungdomscykelvasan are also car-free. The goal is to run the whole Cykelvasan from Sälen to Mora off roads with traffic by 2018.

Swedish favourites

Johan Landström is Cykelvasan’s defending champion, and if we look to the top ten list from Cykelvasan 2014, we see that only number four, Emil Lindgren, is missing from this year’s start list.

The 80 km long Grenserittet in the first weekend of August was won, just like last year, by Mattias Wengelin. In July, Calle Friberg won the Swedish Championship in XCO (Cross-Country Olympic), while the Swedish Långloppscupen is currently led by Lars Bleckur – who also won Finnmarksturen this past weekend. In other words, many important cycling names will be fighting for victory in Cykelvasan… At the Cykelvasan finish in 2014, when Johan Landström won the sprint, 18 men crossed the finish line within nine seconds!

Or will this be the first year a Norwegian cyclist wins the gents’ class? Perhaps Steffan Hartz Repshus, who was seventh in Cykelvasan 2014 and third in Grenserittet 2015, just two seconds behind Mattias Wengelin.

On the ladies’ side, the defending champion Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak from Norway will surely be hard pressed by runner up Jennie Stenerhag, who had her victory snatched away on the finishing stretch last year. Jennie has lately shown great form, winning Mörksuggejakten, Engelsbrektsturen, Grenserittet (ahead of runner up Hovdenak) and Finnmarksturen!

But Hanna Bergman, who came in third last year, and Emmy Thelberg, who came in fourth (and who, just like Jennie Stenerhag, has won Cykelvasan once before), are also competing this year. So is World Cup profile Jenny Rissveds, as well as 17 year old talent Ida Jansson who, just the other week, won bronze in the Junior European Championships in XCO. From Norway we have Borghild Lövseth, who took second place in Cykelvasan 2012, third in 2013, and, more recently, third place in Grenserittet.

Previous winners

A total of 11 different cyclists have shared the 12 wins in Cykelvasan 90 since the start in 2009. Only Jesper Dahlström has won twice, in 2011 and 2012. Most podium placements (three) have gone to Magnus Darvell (second in 2009, first in 2010, second in 2014) and Hanna Bergman (first in 2009, third in 2013, third in 2014).

Previous winners in Cykelvasan, gents

2009 Matthias Wengelin, Cykloteket RT, 2.43.27
2010 Magnus Darvell, Team Kalas/Pedalogerna, 2.39.00 (Record time!)
2011 Jesper Dahlström, Motala AIF Cykelklubb, 2.47.32
2012 Jesper Dahlström, Team Cykelcity, 2.47.20
2013 Fredrik Ericsson, CK Cykelcity.se, 2.43.01
2014 Johan Landström, Motala AIF/SCOTT 2.45.59

Previous winners in Cykelvasan, ladies

2009 Hanna Bergman, Falu CK, 3.09.05
2010 Emmy Thelberg, Härnösands CK, 2.54.53
2011 Pia Sundstedt, Finland, 2.56.19
2012 Jennie Stenerhag, Falu CK, 3.02.06
2013 Alexandra Engen, GHOST Factory RT/Jönköpings CK, 2.55.37
2014 Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak, Norge, 2.53.44 (Record time!)

Top ten in Cykelvasan 2014


1 Landström, Johan (SWE) Motala AIF/SCOTT 2.45.59
2 Darvell, Magnus (SWE) Team Kalas Merida 2.45.59
3 Wahlqvist, Dennis (SWE) Allebike Crosscountry … 2.45.59
4 Lindgren, Emil (SWE) Giant Pro XC Team/CK N… 2.45.59
5 Höög, Gustav (SWE) CK Bure 2.45.59
6 Mehl, Vidar (NOR) Toyota Fuji Team / Vos… 2.46.01
7 Repshus, Steffan Hartz (NOR) Hedmark Terrengsykkel/… 2.46.01
8 Friberg, Calle (SWE) Järfälla CK 2.46.01
9 Jonsson, Olof (SWE) Allebike Crosscountry … 2.46.02
10 Brengdahl, Daniel (SWE) Ck Hymer 2.46.02


1 Hovdenak, Hildegunn Gjertrud (NOR) Sogn CK 2.53.44
2 Stenerhag, Jennie (SWE) Falu CK 2.53.44
3 Bergman, Hanna (SWE) Falu CK 2.53.47
4 Thelberg, Emmy (SWE) Härnösands CK 2.57.15
5 Wold, Linda (NOR) Helios DBS Racing Team 3.00.30
6 Ferner, Felicia (SWE) Borlänge CK 3.04.45
7 Rissveds, Jenny (SWE) Falu CK 3.07.37
8 Larsson, Nellie (SWE) CKX 3.07.38
9 Mork Johansen, Maj (NOR) 3.08.04
10 Bergfeldt, Louise (SWE) Mora CK/Team Anders Skishop 3.08.56

Footnote: Hill prizes in Evertsberg were won in 2014 by Emil Lindberg, 1:31:33, and Jennie Stenerhag, 1:35:46.

Participation statistics over the years (all distances):

Cykelvasan 2009: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 1,911/1,760/1,747
Cykelvasan 2010: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 4,479/4,077/4,045
Cykelvasan 2011: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 7,874/7,180/7,031
Cykelvasan 2012: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 12,840/10,629/10,475
Cykelvasan 2013: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 16,855/14,811/14,546
Cykelvasan 2014: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 16,927/15,291/15,122

Cykelvasan 2015: Registered so far: 19,405

Celebrities competing 2015

Here are some known names from the start list:

Tomas Gustafson, three-time Olympic ice skating gold medalist
Susanne Ljungskog, World Championship gold in cycling road race 2002 and 2003
Johnnie Krigström, ”Johnnie & Mattias”, TV duo known from Kanal 5’s Roomservice and more
Mattias Särnholm, ”Johnnie & Mattias”, TV duo known from Kanal 5’s Roomservice and more
Niklas Wikegård, hockey profile, commentator, TV host (Unconfirmed, has changed knee joint)
Henrik Sedin, NHL pro Vancouver (brothers Stefan and Peter also registered)
Daniel Sedin, NHL pro Vancouver (brothers Stefan and Peter also registered)
Ida Ingemarsdotter, World Championship and Olympic gold medalist in cross-country skiing
Hans Olsson, former alpine skier
Maria Pietelä-Holmner, alpine skier
Lassi Karonen, former Olympic rower
Magnus Sterner, former Olympic snowboarder
Rikard Tynell, marathon cross-country skierTeam Tynell
Håkan Westin, Vasaloppet winner 1993 and 1996
Staffan Larsson, Vasaloppet winner 1999
Raul Olle, Vasaloppet winner 2000 (from Estonia)
Jonas Bauer, SkiStar, former Vasaloppet CEO
Carina Hammarstrand, always participates in all Vasaloppet Winter Week races
Anders Forsberg, former coach Modo and Skellefteå, present NHL scout
Jan-Axel Alavaara, Swedish Championship hockey gold in 2003 and 2005, now assistant coach Modo
Henrik Gradin, assistant coach Modo
Anna Holmlund, ski cross racer, World Championship bronze 2011, Olympic bronze 2014
Victor Öhling Norberg, ski cross racer, World Cup winner 2014, World Championship bronze 2015

Approximate passing times for Cykelvasan 90 on August 15, 2015

If the fastest cyclists keep an average speed of 35 km/h and the slowest 10 km/h, then the approximate passing times for the first/last cyclists will be:

The Vasaloppet start in Sälen 95 km 08:00–12:35
Smågan 79 km 08:15–13:25
Mångsbodarna 66 km 08:39–14:35
Risberg 55 km 08:56–15:25
Evertsberg 42 km 09:27–16:55 (cut-off at 16:45)
Oxberg 28 km 09:53–18:10
Hökberg 19 km 10:08–18:55 (cut-off at 18:45)
Eldris 9 km 10:27–19:50
The finish in Mora 10:42–20:35

Cykelvasasprinten 2015

Cykelvasasprinten will be held in Lindvallen, Sälen, on Friday August 14 before 15:00; it is a short race for specially invited elite cyclists. A temporary track is built in the lower part of the Lindvallen ski slopes, making for a fun, crowd-friendly and technical race. The race is about 15–20 minutes long with a joint start, and the first person to cross the finish line wins. The competition has a ladies’ and gents’ class with about 10–20 participants in each. Prize money is awarded to the winner in each class.
Kranskulla and Kransmas 2015

This year’s Kranskulla and Kransmas are, just like this winter, Victoria Stärner and Victor Gustafsson, both from Mora.


There is a lot going on in and around the Vasaloppet Arena during Vasaloppet’s Summer Week 2015. Have a look at the entire programme:

Upcoming events in the Vasaloppet Arena

Vasaloppet Summer Week 2015
Fri 14 Aug: Cykelvasan 30. 32 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 14 Aug: Ungdomscykelvasan. 32 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 14 Aug: Cykelvasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 14 Aug: Cykelvasan Öppet Spår. 94 km. Start Sälen.
Sat 15 Aug: Cykelvasan 90. 94 km. Start Sälen. (12,000 entries. FULL 1/10/2014)
Sat 22 Aug: Ultravasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 22 Aug: Ultravasan 90. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Sat 22 Aug: Vasastafetten. 4.5–15 km. Running relay race for ten-person teams. Start Sälen.

Vasaloppet Winter Week 2016
Fri 26 Feb: Kortvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 27 Feb: Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 28 Feb: Ungdomsvasan. 3, 5, 7 or 9 km. Start Mora Ski Stadium.
Sun 28 Feb: Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Mon 29 Feb: Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Tue 1 Mar: Halvvasan. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 4 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Relay race for five-person teams. Start Sälen. (9,000 entries. FULL 22/3/2015.)
Sun 6 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen. (15,800 entries. FULL 22/3/2015.)

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